CSO announces new programming director

Thu Jan 08, 2015 at 12:41 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Cristina Rocca. Photo: Christophe Abramowitz
Cristina Rocca. Photo: Christophe Abramowitz

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new programming chief will speak the same language as Riccardo Muti—literally.

Cristina Rocca is the CSO’s new vice-president of artistic planning, the orchestra announced Thursday. The Bologna native succeeds longtime CSO hand Martha Gilmer who departed last summer to become CEO of the San Diego Symphony.

“I am very happy that Cristina Rocca has accepted the position of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Vice President for Artistic Planning, “ said music director Muti, in a statement released by the orchestra. “She is someone I have known well for many years and is a person of great experience and professionalism.”

“I feel privileged and honored to have been offered the opportunity to join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Riccardo Muti in this wonderful city,” said Rocca. “It is particularly exciting as the Orchestra approaches the milestone of its 125th anniversary, and I cannot wait to become a part of their extraordinary story.”

The press release states that Rocca will “design and execute the artistic plans and vision for the [Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association], working closely with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti and CSOA President Jeff Alexander to develop innovative programs and to engage guest artists for the CSO.”

Rocca is currently artistic director of the Orchestre National de France, a post she has held since 2012. Prior to that she held artistic planning positions with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Bournemouth Symphony, and Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Rocca is scheduled to start on the job March 16. Jeff Alexander officially takes the reins as CSO president on Monday.

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